Monday, April 11, 2005

On April 11, 1858...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

The Church

1. INTROD.—Last week I spoke of one of those great and august works with which our Lord followed up the great Act of Sacrifice, viz. the foundation of His Church. Nor can there be a more suitable time than this season to speak of it, considering it was the chief concern, as far as we know, of the forty days; vide the gospel of this day.

2. Now in this we differ from all other religions about us. They all profess to have the truth as well as we profess it, but there is one thing they do not profess, viz. that their religious society is founded by Almighty God. We do of ours.

3. And since they do not profess it, they will not let us have what they have not themselves.

4. State the doctrine. We profess, not only our religion, but our society to come from Almighty God; we profess it to be divine. We profess it to have a multitude of privileges, etc.

5. Now you may be asked sometimes by a serious objector, sometimes by an inquirer, how it is that we know that the Church comes from God? I answer that it bears the proof of it to all serious men on its very face, if they will but be patient to examine; and I will say how.

6. I said on Good Friday concerning the world that its strength is in the look of things. Men associate together, say the same thing, and seem strong. They keep up appearances. But there is an inside to things as well as an outside. And here is the weakness of the world as a prophet, that it does not touch the inside.

7. Men cannot live for ever on externals. They have heart, affections and aspirations, and the world cannot satisfy these. They have a conscience; they sin, and need direction.

8. Now this is what our Saviour, when on earth, did for His disciples; and thus He attached them to Him. He was a living object of worship—(1) He gave pardon; (2) He gave direction.

9. When He went, He said He would not leave them orphans.

10. This was fulfilled in the Church: (1) pardon, (2) direction, (3) presence—(enlarge).

11. Hence suited to our need—(enlarge).

12. Faith only requisite.


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